Glasgow Warriors host Edinburgh at Scotstoun in the first leg of those two teams’ now traditional 1872 Cup festive double-header in just 10 days’ time, but the simmering rivalry which is usually more intense around this time of the year will be put aside tonight when Argentinean players from both ends of the M8 join as one to support their national football team in their World Cup semi-final clash against Croatia.

“There are a few Argentinians in Scotland now. There is myself, Enrique Pieretto, Lucio Sordoni, Sebastian Cancelliere here at Glasgow, and of course Emiliano Boffelli at Edinburgh,” explained stand-off Domingo Miotti. “We all meet up usually around three times a week with our partners, but we’ve been meeting even more recently because of the football with the World Cup which we are all watching together.

“This is going to be a huge game against Croatia, so we are all going to Boffelli’s house in Edinburgh to watch it.

“You have to say Croatia are playing really well and it’s a World Cup, so you know that anything can happen, but we have [Lionel] Messi – he can do no wrong – and I believe this is his moment. We are feeling really good, and we know this Argentina team is a strong group.”

Miotti played both rugby and football whilst growing up in Tucuman, in the northwest of Argentina, and although he ultimately chose to follow his father in focusing on the oval ball game, his deep sense of national pride at the soccer team’s heroics in Qatar is as full-blooded as you’d expect from any Latin American football fan.

“The World Cup is the only thing people in Argentina are thinking about right now,” he continued.

“They are not thinking about their jobs or whatever problems they maybe have in their lives.

The Herald: Lionel Messi and Co in training yesterdayLionel Messi and Co in training yesterday (Image: PA)

We have a lot of problems as a country right now with the economics – but football can make you forget about all of these things. If Argentina can win this World Cup, it would be huge.”

As elated as Miotti will undoubtedly be if Messi and his team-mates do managed to end the 36-year wait for World Cup glory, he laughs off the suggestion that it might move him to ask Warriors head coach Franco Smith for a holiday so that he can celebrate properly.

Having struggled for game-time since arriving in the west of Scotland at the start of last season – managing just two starts and four bench appearances throughout 2021-22 then one start and three appearances off the bench in this campaign up to the start of the November Tests – he now feels he is finally beginning to find his feet.

He came off the bench when Warriors ended their 10-month wait for a league win on the road by beating Zebre at the start of December, and then started in the No.10 jersey as an inexperienced Warriors side confounded almost all external expectations with an impressive win over Bath at The Rec in the Challenge Cup last weekend.

He hopes he has done enough to keep his place in the side when Perpignan come calling to Scotstoun on Friday night, knowing that he needs to start playing more regularly at club level if he is to rejuvenate his international career with the Pumas so as to push his way into contention for next year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

“As a player, you want to play all the time, so it’s been good to get my chance to play in the last couple of weeks,” he said.

“I spoke with Franco about what he was looking for from me and he explained that it was important to improve how I manage the game. I also needed to improve my defence a little bit as well so I’m working on that.

“You always have to try and be confident and have trust in yourself and I actually have a psychologist who I have been working with. We work on things like what I can or cannot control.

“For example, the weather and the conditions, you cannot control things like that – but you can control what you do in terms of your performance in whatever conditions you face on the pitch.”

“I feel like I’m in a really good moment right now and hopefully the Glasgow fans are starting to see what I can do.”